Food Drive for Rainier Valley Food Bank

The Leschi Business Association and the Leschi Community Council are collaborating on a food drive for the Holiday season. Sam Osborne, Director of the Rainier Valley food bank, came to our November meeting to describe the needs in this area. The food bank is small but serves 17,000 person per month and 155 homebound persons. They cover the area from the Central District to Skyway. The Bank is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:30-2pm and they hand out 100,000 lbs. of food per month. The population they serve is largely Southeast Asian and so their food needs are different from the usual.

The top five nonperishable food items desired are rice (white or brown), Asian noodles (rice, soba, somen), protein items (such as canned tuna, salmon, chicken, SPAM), soups (canned or boxed; ramen), mung beans and the last item is actually perishables: fruit and vegetables. Perishable items can be taken to Leschi Market, as they will deliver to the food bank; cash donations are also accepted at Leschi Market and McKinstry Corp. has offered to match our donations. Kids like peanut butter and those boxes of Mac'n cheese.

Asked about the homeless, Mr. Osborne said they are seeing more new faces among the homeless who frequent the food bank. Items for homeless people should have a pop-top or be in an easily opened package and eaten without cooking or adding additional ingredients. (Fruit cups, granola bars, some lunch size packs of tuna with crackers, SPAM that can be opened with a key.) Small toiletries such as the travel sizes of toothpaste, shampoo, soap are also needed by the homeless; small is better because they have no storage and must use pockets, backpacks, or the handy wheeled luggage.

Look for the barrels at participating businesses—the drive will run from December 1-December 20.

~Diane Snell

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